Thursday, September 28, 2006

field trip

what a rough, tough day it's been. how sad, and how surreal, to watch my government "debate" torture. in the end, the republicans won and bush got what he wanted: a congressional mandate to torture human beings.

luckily, this afternoon, we in digital democacy had a field trip!

we've been reading tv reed's the art of protest. last week, we read chapter 4, "revolutionary walls: chicano/a murals, chicano/a movements," which, as the title suggests, traces the many intersections between chicano/a murals and latino/a social movements.

i've always been a big fan of field trips - they are excellent learning experiences and it's always a good thing to get off campus and into the community. so on tuesday we decided we'd spend thursday in the mission. most of the students took the bus from usf (the 33); one student lives in the mission and got there in minutes; it's a 15 minute walk from steiner street to valencia, so i hoofed it.

we met at the women's building (always a sight to see). we took some time to soak it in and then started sharing our connections between the building's murals and what we learned from tv reed: that the central figure of the mural is a woman; the way the murals depicted women of various races and ethnicities; the way the murals blended indigenous culture, recent chicana/o history, and contemporary struggles and achievements; how native and western healing practices were depicted side by side. one student noted that one woman in the mural was in a wheel chair; another pointed out that the women in the murals ranged from infancy to grandmotherly; one student read, word for word, an audre lorde poem featured on the left side of the mural; and another student pointed out that all the muralists were women. i observed that one of women in the mural held a sign saying silencio = muerte, shared what that meant, and began thinking about next week's reading - reed's "ACTing UP against AIDS: The (very) graphic arts in a moment of crisis."

then we headed east to valencia and north to clarion. walking around the mission is always fun but it's extra fun when you do it when you're supposed to be in class.

clarion alley (history, google images, flickr) stretches from valencia to mission. it is full of murals - all kinds of themes, messages, sizes, and levels of artistry. we walked down the alley like a museum - sometimes alone, sometimes in twos and threes, and sometimes as one big slowly walking mass. without a doubt, the coolest thing for me was when i saw students pointing out to other students details in this or that mural: students teaching students.

on our way out of the alley, and on to our way to pancho villa, we passed this masterpiece - the favorite among many of us.

what a perfect mural - fists of fury meets feminism - painted by female teen muralists. students had a lot to say about this one and one student asked the same question i was pondering: "who's phoolan devi?" i love this mural and what it says
    emma goldman: her weapon: pen of poison

    rosa parks: her weapon: full fare bus ticket

    phoolan devi: her weapon: code breaking

    mother theresa: her weapon: relentless compassion
and, painted on the woman in the middle,
    everywoman: her weapon: rising up
later, early in the evening, sarah and i were at home watching the news. the torture bill had just passed. today, torture became officially legislated as an american value. it's been a rough, tough day but at least i have work that matters.

we'll need to plot a second field trip real soon.

technorati tag:

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

dream dissertation fellowship! USF dissertation fellowship program

are you an underrepresented ethnic minority scholar? are you planning on completing your dissertation during 2007-2008? are you in media studies or a media studies-related field? consider applying for this position:
    The University of San Francisco invites applications from underrepresented ethnic minority scholars for the USF Dissertation Fellowship Program for academic year 2007-2008.

    Program: Scholars complete the dissertation and initiate an ongoing program of scholarly or creative work, and become familiar with the usual service responsibilities of a university faculty member. Scholars teach one course in the discipline each semester and serve the University in various capacities. The Program provides a stipend of $32,000 and limited support for relocation and research-related expenses. Additional support includes office space, computer and library privileges.

    Qualifications: Scholars are members of one of the following groups: African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, or American Indians and are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Candidates must have completed all course work leading to the doctorate by summer 2007 and must be considering a career in college teaching. We are searching in the following field: College of Arts and Sciences: Media Studies.

    Applicants should submit a letter of application (indicating area of expertise), curriculum vitae, transcripts, dissertation prospectus, brief description of research plans, evidence of teaching ability (including student evaluations), and three letters of recommendation to:

    Gerardo Marín, Ph.D., Associate Provost
    Dissertation Scholars Search
    University of San Francisco
    2130 Fulton Street, LM Rossi 4th floor
    San Francisco, CA 94117-1080

    Complete applications must be received by January 15, 2007 to ensure full consideration.

    The University of San Francisco is a Jesuit Catholic university founded in 1855 to educate leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world. Candidates should demonstrate a commitment to work in a culturally diverse environment and to contribute to the mission of the University.

    USF is an Equal Opportunity Employer dedicated to affirmative action and to excellence through diversity. The University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants with disabilities upon request.

Monday, September 25, 2006

golden gate park on a hot sunny day

a two month anniversary

since friday, sarah's been out of town, visiting friends in seattle. fortunately, she returns home tuesday night! the last few days have been sunny and hot and i've spent them reading, writing, and biking in golden gate park. when sarah returns, we'll celebrate our second month in the city.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

arthur nights - october 19-22, downtown LA

arthur nights
october 19-22, 2006
the palace theatre, downtown los angeles

the four-day line-up
all artists will perform full sets
$80 for a four-night pass
all ages welcome

where else are you going to hear devendra banhart, bert jansch, espers, watts prophets, jackie beat, belong, yellow swans, grouper, and buffalo killers - all on the same night?

is it really all ages? how did they swing that?

oh, and it takes place here:

critical cyberculture studies - buy, scan, read

i have just received word that our anthology, critical cyberculture studies, is now ready for public consumption!

nyu press has created a nice web site for the book where you can a) buy the book, b) scan the table of contents, and c) read (for free!) the book's introduction titled "where is internet studies?"

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Guantanamo: How Should We Respond? - a national teach-in

during the 1960s, teach-ins on college campuses were common. the reasons for this were many, and one is that the times were extremely chaotic and violent. the teach-ins, organized despite harassment, intimidation, and sometimes violence, reminded us that college campuses were important and relevant spheres of democracy.

on october 5, 2006 there will be a national teach-in around the theme:the teach-in takes place at seton hall law school in newark, new jersey and will be broadcasted to over 200 participating campuses in 44 states.

because october 5 is near, most readers affiliated with academia won't be able to organize an event on their campuses. but as engaged scholars, events like this, especially in times like ours, merit our attention and thoughts.

this project has three main elements:

1. On October 5th, Seton Hall will host an all-day conference available at academic institutions across the United States to study the national and international implications of indefinitely detaining hundreds of individuals deemed "enemy combatants."

the speaker's list is massively diverse. topics range from "medical professionals and guantanamo" and "journalists look behind the wire" to "history of torture in the modern world" and "american detention policy: the next frontier." speakers include professors, attorneys, governmental officials, military officials, religious leaders, and human rights advocates. among the speakers are journalists from the new yorker, the new york times, the miami herald, and time magazine.

2. Beginning at 10:00 EST, the Teach-In will be available via high-quality video streams accessed through this website. Schools in earlier time zones can pick up the sessions in progress or, by accessing a recording of the earlier sessions, view the whole program from the beginning.

This teach-in is truly national. currently, as of september 20, over 200 campuses in 44 states are organizing teach-ins about guantanamo. the overwhelming majority of hosts are law schools, colleges, and universities. there are also 5 seminaries and 1 medical school participating in the teach-in. additional information regarding the technology that connects the events at seton hall to the rest of the participating campuses can be found here.

3. And, of course, participating schools can schedule their own programming instead of or in addition to some of the nationally broadcast sessions.

for example, here at USF, the following events have been organized by many, many people:
    thursday, october 5
    9:00 am - 3:00 pm
    terrace room, USF law school

    9:00 - 10:30: Attorneys Bud Walsh and Bernie Casey, both of whom represent Guantanamo Bay detainees, will present.

    10:30 - noon: Professor Richard Leo (Law School) will speak on interrogations, with emphasis on interrogations at Guantanamo.

    Noon - 1:30: Frank Lindh (father of John Walker Lindh, the "American Taliban") will speak along with a lawyer from the firm that represented John.

    1:30 - 3:00: Attorney and Professor Banafsheh Akhlaghi (Politics) will speak on representing deportees, refugees, people on the no-fly list and other people under the radar.

    3:00 pm - : We will run the Internet feed from Seton Hall, beginning with the first presentation.
i have some questions that i hope can be addressed by someone in the organizing team - or anyone who knows the answer - in the comments:
  1. is there any attempt to make this an international teach-in?

  2. is there a list of what other participating campuses are doing on a local level? in other words, i know what kind of events are happening at USF - what's going on at other campuses? there is this list, which lists the events at USF and at antioch university, but i imagine there are more, right?

  3. what are some of the foreseeable online interactions? can participants at non-seton hall campuses post questions and comments for seton hall speakers? what kinds of technologies are in place - or are being planned - to facilitate interactions between participating campuses?

  4. hey, youtube and flickr experts! what are some of the ways these technologies can be used to distribute, archive, and further distribute the teach-in?
a national teach-in on how to respond to guantanamo - what a great idea. it takes a great deal of work to organize projects like this. it also takes a great deal of courage, since so many college and university campuses, like so many other sectors of american society, are hostile to engaged debate and dissent. finally, it takes a great deal of faith to organize projects like this - faith in college campuses as spheres of relevance, spheres of creativity and inspiration, and spheres of democracy.

projects like this make me proud to be a professor.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

september 19th

from clarissa lee i learn about 19sep, a blog "intended to provide local news, media and perspective of Thailand Coup Event on 19th September 2006 to the world." history seems to be moving way too fast these days.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

usf event: using torture? to fight terrorism? a talk

a discussion on current U.S. foreign policy in the middle east with Ray McGovern, former CIA senior analyst and a founder of VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity).
    Ray McGovern's career as a CIA analyst spanned 27 years - from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H.W. Bush. His current activities are directed at shedding light on recent practices of the U.S. intelligence community. Mr. McGovern has appeared most recently on CNN, the News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, and the Washington Journal on C-SPAN.
friday, september 22, 2006
1:00-3:00 pm in UC 400
refreshments will be served

Sponsored by the USF Politics Society, Department of Politics, and Peace & Justice Studies Program.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

nephews and nebraska

on saturday, sarah and i drove down to palo alto to watch the nebraska - usc football game at my sister cara's (new) home. although the cornhuskers lost, it was still a good time, mostly because of these little guys:

will, the eldest, could not get enough of sarah - and vice versa. later in the evening, when sarah started knitting a scarf, will was really curious and asked all kinds of really smart questions. he just sat and observed - patiently.

dolan, on the other hand, rarely sits still for more than a moment. but when he does, it feels like magic.

Friday, September 15, 2006

usf event: nuestra familia, our family - a documentary film

a special showing of Nuestra Familia, Our Family, a documentary film that goes deep inside california's latino gangs to reveal their devastating effect on families – and the controversial war to stop their spread.

    When: Monday, September 18, 8 p.m.
    Where: Maier Hall in Fromm Hall (old Xavier Hall)
USF graduate and investigative reporter george sanchez, who worked for three years on the project, will hold a press conference in maier hall at 7 p.m.

this special advanced screening was made possible by the center for investigative reporting. co-sponsored by the journalism minor and the department of media studies.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

more september projects in italy

we just learned that four libraries in perugia, italy - Biblioteca Augusta, Biblioteca Sandro Penna, Biblioteca Multimediale, and Biblionet - have joined the september project. here's what they are planning:
    Le Biblioteche comunali di Perugia insieme a oltre 1.100 biblioteche pubbliche, universitarie e scolastiche in 34 paesi del mondo hanno aderito al progetto internazionale The September Project promosso dalla University of Washington’s Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities in occasione della ricorrenza dell’11 settembre 2001, con l’obiettivo comune di diffondere una cultura di pace, conoscenza reciproca tra i popoli e stimolare la riflessione delle persone sui valori della libertà, della pace e della democrazia.

    A Perugia dall’11 al 16 settembre sono disponibili presso la Biblioteca Augusta un’esposizione di libri, quotidiani e riviste ed una postazione multimediale con le immagini dell’evento.

    On line sono disponibili lo spoglio di articoli di riviste (documento pdf 130 KB) possedute dalla Biblioteca Augusta, una lista di titoli (documento pdf 125 KB) posseduti dalle Biblioteche comunali riguardanti i fatti dell’11 settembre ed una selezione di siti Internet sull’argomento.
    La lista dei libri è corredata da abstract.

    Per informazioni: Biblioteca Augusta 075.577.56.24 / 577.25.05

    Sul sito The September Project sono presenti la lista delle biblioteche che hanno aderito all’iniziativa, l’elenco dei programmi organizzati dal 2004 fino ad oggi e l’accesso via rete alla comunità dei partecipanti. Le biblioteche italiane che, assieme alle Biblioteche comunali di Perugia, hanno aderito al progetto sono: Biblioteca comunale Renato Fucini di Empoli, Biblioteca civica Berio di Genova.
for more information, visit the portale comune di perugia.

the port huron project

the port huron project "seeks to explore the role of protest speech in progressive movements, and to reanimate historic protest speeches so that they might galvanize a new generation of political activists." their first project, "until the last gun is silent," looks very cool. here's the details:
    What: A performance art event organized by Mark Tribe and based on a speech given by Coretta Scott King at a 1968 peace march in Central Park.

    When: Saturday, September 16, 5:00 PM. Rain date: Sunday, September 17, 5 PM. Check to see if the event is postponed due to rain.

    Where: Mineral Springs field, Central Park, New York City. (directions on the web site.)
this project comes out of brown university. it will be interesting to watch.
The Port Huron Project is a series of remakes of historic protest speeches from the 1960s and early '70s. Inspired by the Port Huron Statement, the visionary manifesto of Students for a Democratic Society that helped launch the New Left movement in the United States, the Port Huron Project seeks to explore the role of protest speech in progressive movements, and to reanimate historic protest speeches so that they might galvanize a new generation of political activists. Each event will be staged at or near the site of the original speech, and will be documented using a range of older and newer media, from 16mm film to high-definition video. This documentation will then be distributed online as open source media and exhibited in various ways.

Port Huron Project 1: Until the Last Gun Is Silent is presented in conjunction with Conflux, a festival for contemporary psychogeography. Support for this project has been provided by the Pacifica Radio Archives, the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, and Brown University.
can you imagine american academia if it took place in classrooms and in parks?

night reading and nene watching

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

thirty countries strong

in the last two days, libraries in three different countries signed up to participate in the september project. they are:
    La Universidad Francisco Gavidia, in san salvador, el salvador
    La Universdad Francisco Gavidia de El Salvador en el marco de los eventos a realizarce a nivel mundial en conmemoracion a los atendados del 11 de septiembre, informa que realizará un cine foro denominado "Despues de 5 años recordando el 11 de septiembre" en el cual se presentará la pelicula "VUELO 93" asi mismo se exhibira material de nueva incorporacion a nuestras bibliotecas sobre derechos sociales, democracia, y otras tematicas.
    The American Corner, in belgrade, serbia and montenegro

    Kherson Regional Library for Children, in kherson, ukraine
the september project 2006 is now 30 countries strong.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

faculty positions: digital media production, interactive communication, and new media/communication technology

Assistant Professor in Digital Media Production
Florida State University

The Department of Communication at Florida State University is seeking a tenure track Assistant Professor who can serve our digital media production program, beginning August 2007. Applicants should be able to work in a variety of production settings including field, studio and/or on-line, working with students to create entertainment and/or public affairs programming and media products that can be distributed across a variety of media platforms. Experience with digital video cameras, lighting and audio equipment as well as post-production software including AVID and/or Final Cut Pro is necessary. Familiarity with Aftereffects, Pro Tools, Lightwave, and DVD authoring programs as well as podcasting and streaming video is a plus. Applicants that have research-based interests in digital media and/or issues of technology-mediated communication in addition to the production skills listed above are especially encouraged to apply. Candidates will be expected to teach two courses a semester, serve our theory and research based graduate program and have a defined program of research and/or creative production.

The Department of Communication currently serves a select group of undergraduate Media Production majors as well as graduate students in a Communication and Media Studies Masters and a Doctoral program in Communication. Applicants will also serve our new Graduate Certificate in Digital Video, a four course program open to graduate students from across the university. Candidates should have completed a Ph.D. by the Fall of 2007. For more information about the department see:

Review of applications will begin October 15th and continue until the position is filled.

Andy Opel, Ph.D.
Digital Media Search Committee Chair
Department of Communication
University Center, Building C, Suite 3100
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2664


Assistant or Associate Professor
Interactive Communication
Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac University School of Communications seeks a full-time, tenure track assistant or associate professor in interactive communications to start August 2007. The School of Communications prepares students to produce and critically analyze content in the areas of news, public relations, entertainment and on-line media. The ideal candidate will make substantial contributions to an innovative Master's program in interactive communications, including supervision of graduate student theses and creative projects. Teaching responsibilities will also include courses at the undergraduate level in media production. We seek applicants who are engaged in research addressing emerging media and who are qualified to teach in areas of the curriculum beyond production. Professional experience and advanced degree required.

Applicants should submit cover letter, curriculum vitae, sample publications or creative works, names and contact information for three references to Dr. Raymond Foery, Chair, Department of Media Studies and Media Production, Quinnipiac University, SB-MCM, 275 Mt. Carmel Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518 or via email: Final consideration of candidates will begin November 1, 2006 and continue until position is filled.
    alex halavais, a professor at quinnipiac university and one of the smartest new media scholars out there, added the following on his post to air-l (tangent: is air-l getting weird or what?!?), which i post with permission:

    There have been bunch notes out on the list recruiting faculty. I joined the faculty at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut earlier this year. I was looking for an opportunity to move from an Research 1 to a school that balances research with a dedication to teaching. Admittedly, I've only been here for a little while, but I've been very impressed with what I've seen. We have a great group of students, and despite being a large "small" school (we have the largest undergraduate program in the state, I believe), class sizes remain small, and support of faculty for teaching and research is excellent. Perhaps best of all, there is a strong entrepreneurial spirit on the campus, and the university is attracting some outstanding faculty. I suspect that if you haven't heard of Quinnipiac in the past, that will be changing.

    The School of Communication is hiring four tenure-track faculty this year, and will be continuing to add faculty in the coming years. We are looking for someone who can mix an online media production background with strong theory and research and teach in our MS in Interactive Communication. In particular, if you work in social computing it would be great to have you up here. Please don't hesitate to drop me a note, and I am happy to respond to any questions candidly.

Assistant Professor of Communication
University of Illinois at Chicago

A successful candidate must have interests in the study of new media, the internet, and/or communication technology in combination with the study of one or more of the following areas of department research strength: diversity, health, political, or visual studies. The candidate will also have an earned doctorate in Communication or a related field, strong promise of scholarly achievement and teaching success (at the undergraduate and graduate levels) appropriate for appointment as Assistant Professor, good prospects for external research funding, and demonstrated commitment to multidisciplinary scholarship.

Located in the heart of Chicago, UIC is a Research I University with 16,000 undergraduates, 6,500 graduate and 3,000 professional students. The Department of Communication has 11 full-time faculty, approximately 100 undergraduate majors, and 25 M.A. students. The Department is developing a doctoral program focused on the relationship between technology and communication.

The desired appointment is date for the position is August 16, 2007. Interested parties should send a full curriculum vitae, samples of relevant scholarly publications, evidence of teaching effectiveness, and four letters of reference to:

Professor Andrew Rojecki, Chair, Communication Search Committee, Department of Communication (MC-132)1007 W. Harrison St. University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607-7137

Applications should be received by November 1, 2006, to receive full consideration, although the search will proceed until the position is filled. Applications from women and minorities are particularly encouraged.

Women and traditionally under-represented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. The University of Illinois is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer.


looks like new media - and digital media and interactive media and cyberculture - is back in academic fashion with full force.

paul farmer at usf

yesterday, paul farmer - a professor, a physician, a member of the extraordinary partners in health, and the subject of tracy kidder's mountains beyond mountains - spoke at USF as part of the justice lecture series.

highlights (in no particular order except the last, which is my favorite):
  • all 500 seats were taken. nearly all of the aisle space surrounding the 500 seats was taken. and there was an overflow crowd, in crossroads cafe, that watched the talk via a stream.

  • before dr farmer was introduced, as he walked into the room and began his way towards the stage, the crowd erupted into applause. it was like a rock concert, except instead of cheering a guitarist we were cheering a humanitarian.

  • most big talks at universities involve an introduction by the president or a dean. yesterday, paul farmer was introduced by a senior nursing student (unfortunately, i did not catch her name). what a thrill it must have been for her to introduce a true hero and do it in front of 500+ people! she was awesome.

  • paul farmer and his partners in health colleagues' (now 4000) work in haiti and rwanda is visionary, inspiring, and against all odds. to hear him talk about it and to see pictures of the individuals and communities they serve was a truly remarkable experience. his talk (plus Q and A) lasted for an hour and a half; i could have listened and learned from him for many more hours.

  • paul farmer is an engaging and inspiring speaker. he is, as one can imagine, brilliant. he is also hysterical. he had all of us - students, san franciscans, professors, staff, jesuits - continuously laughing out loud - no small feat considering the massive poverty that farmer's patients endure.

  • paul farmer's talk was a perfect component to USF's one book, one community activities. for summer reading, the entire USF community was encouraged to read kidder's mountains beyond mountains. what a perfect selection for our troubled times.

  • it was great how paul farmer continually connected the work he and his colleagues do in haiti and rwanda to the social justice mission of the university of san francisco. i felt proud, excited, and a bit humbled to be a USF professor.

  • and finally, upon being asked by a student how to find one's occupational future, he answered (to the best of my memory): "find out what you love to do. and then do it for poor people. do it for justice."
it was a phenomenal experience.

Monday, September 11, 2006

september project events in argentina, italy, and peru

[crossposted from the september project blog]

from ana a. chiesa, coordinator of proyecto CIBA in córdoba, argentina:
    El Proyecto CIBA anuncia que el próximo 14 de Septiembre realizará dos taller destinados a chicos de cuarto y quinto grado de escuelas rurales Argentinas.

    Uno trabajara sobre la Alfabetización en información: "Todo lo que no sabemos sobre los libros."

    El otro es un taller de animación a la lectura: "Taller de Lunas y brujas."

    Ambas actividades son en adhesión al Proyecto Septiembre.
from patrizia gaggero, of biblioteca berio, in genova, italy:
    ...a sostegno di punti di incontro in tutto il mondo l’11 settembre

    Lunedì 11 settembre 2006

    Sala Chierici -17.00
    “Operatori tra guerre e diritti negati”
    Relatore: Mizio Ferraris (Emergency Genova)

    “I bambini kamikaze: cause e soluzioni
    Relatore Pejman Abdolmohammadi (Comitato Unicef Genova)

    Biblioteca – Piano terra – 8,30/19,00
    Mostra fotografica: “La Guerra com’è”
    a cura di Emergency Genova

    Mostra bibliografica: “Per una cultura del dialogo e della non violenza”
    a cura della Biblioteca Berio

    Sala Mostre 14.00/18.00
    Olii, pastelli e prints di Natalie Saiph Massone
    Fotografie e video di Ugo Nuzzo
    Il ricavato della mostra verrà devoluto alla Fondazione contro la Fibrosi Cistica (Cystic Fibrosis Worldwide), una malattia cronica che colpisce soprattutto i bambini dei paesi più poveri e colpiti dalla guerra.

    La guerra com’è
    In questa mostra, attraverso testi, fotografie e testimonianze raccolte sul campo, Emergency racconta i caratteri delle guerre attuali: la preponderanza di vittime civili (il 90 per cento, tre su dieci bambini), gli effetti dei conflitti che durano oltre la loro fine dichiarata, il problema delle mine antiuomo – e il suo lavoro sul fronte medico-sanitario e su quello della diffusione di una cultura di pace.
and from roberto bustamante, coordinator of the cholonautas project, in lima, peru:
    I like to inform you that in Cholonautas Project we posted an article about 9/11 with links and electronical textos about the consequences of the terrorist attack.

    The link is here.

KCPW, j. willard marriott library, merrill-cazier library, and utah

this morning, joyce ogburn (director of the j. willard marriott library at the university of utah) and i were interviewed by lara jones of KCPW public radio in salt lake city, utah. (update: interview archive)

i know joyce from the university of washington, where she was, until last year, associate director of the libraries, resources and collection management services. it was a pleasure to be on the show with joyce and it was great to learn more about their "democracy and informed citizenry" events, organized in large part by university of utah librarian heidi brett.

another utah library participating in the september project is utah state university's merrill-cazier library. from their flyer:
Utah State University's Merrill-Cazier Library and Cache MicroCinema will host a film screening and discussion as part of "The September Project." Join us for a screening of Fighting Back, an episode in the award-winning documentary about the Civil Rights Movement, Eyes on the Prize.

The screening is part of the 2006 common literature experience at USU, in which students, faculty, staff and the members of the community read Warriors Don't Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High, by Melba Pattillo Beals. Following the screening, Jennifer Ritterhouse, associate professor of history at USU, will facilitate a discussion.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

september 11 events at usf

tomorrow, USF is a beehive of activity.

fr. gerard jean-juste and dr. paul farmer will be on campus for two events:
  • 12:15 p.m.: at the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit, Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste of Haiti will be awarded an honorary doctorate by University President Fr. Stephen Privett, S.J.

  • 4:00 p.m.: Dr. Paul Farmer will deliver a public lecture on “Using Medicine as a Tool for Social Justice."
this event is part of USF's justice lecture series and sponsored by the lane center for catholic studies & social thought.

while on campus, check out the book display in the lobby of gleeson library.

finally, a free and public event sponsored by USF's politics society & pi sigma alpha. USF politics professor banafsheh akhlaghi, myself, and a representative from the san francisco fire department will offer brief presentations followed by discussion. please consider swinging by - UC 222 @ 1:30pm - 3:00pm.

a sight to see

the women's building, a breathtaking building on any day but especially today with the sunday sun shining bright and fierce. everytime i pass this place i think of irina and smile.

happy birthday irina, even if it's one day late. my present is a nice long dinner and a nice long walk, redeemable the next time you're here in the city.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

what a way to start a day

from this morning's seattle pi:
Libraries encourage civic engagement


Libraries around the world are busily preparing for Sept. 11. Throughout September and October, they will open their doors to activities and displays that encourage civic engagement.

At the Seattle Public Library, Ray Suarez, a senior correspondent at PBS, will speak about immigration issues and a film series will explore the experiences of immigrants in the United States. Suzzallo Library, on the University of Washington campus, will display media coverage of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, from the first news reports to recent books and movies. At my own library on the University of Washington-Tacoma campus, we are organizing film screenings and panel discussions that will investigate the impact of the War on Terror at home and abroad.

Over the past three years, hundreds of libraries around the world have organized similar events for the September Project, a movement to encourage people to gather at libraries in recognition of Sept. 11. All the activities occur around a date associated with significant loss and change, but the September Project is not about commemorating Sept. 11.

It's about libraries serving as places for people to talk about and engage in core American values -- democracy, citizenship and freedom -- that have eroded in waves of fear and war. "We saw it as an opportunity to take back Patriot Day," one participant told me, referring to the official designation of Sept. 11. Many who have planned activities in their libraries share this sentiment. As the fifth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, more than 350 libraries invite the kind of noise that strengthens civil society.

I trace my involvement in the September Project to feelings experienced in the days following the terrorist attacks. When President Bush declared Sept. 14, 2001, a national Day of Prayer and Remembrance, he spoke of revenge before any mention of mourning: "We will use all the resources of the United States ... to pursue those responsible for this evil, until justice is done." At the time, the close proximity of national loss and national aggression dismayed me.

Since then, the rhetoric of war and the rhetoric of grief have saturated our public forums, becoming an emulsion that corrodes our ability to comprehend other points of view. The September Project gives me and other librarians an opportunity to provide havens for conversation and understanding differences of opinion.

Participants in the September Project, from the co-directors, David Silver and Sarah Washburn, to organizers, to those who attend events, recognize Sept. 11 as a time to reflect and to discuss democracy, citizenship and freedom. Only future generations will know the true significance of Sept. 11, but we now have the opportunity to influence the flow of history.

Will we poison the future with violent reactions to fear, relinquishing liberty for safety; or through dedication to civil society, will we release the elements of freedom and democracy? This September and October, libraries that participate in the September Project offer spaces for raising, and beginning to answer, that and many other questions. Learn more about the September Project activities at

Justin Wadland is a librarian at the University of Washington-Tacoma Library who has participated in the September Project for three years.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

september projects and college campuses

from leslie foster, head of government publications at william d. mcintyre library at the university of wisconsin-eau claire, news of a fascinating set of september project events:
At the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the Library's Government Publications Department and the University's Political Science Department are sponsoring events.

A display, "Civic Engagement: Take Part in Democracy," has been mounted in the library's grand corridor exhibit cases and will remain there throughout September. On September 11, the DVD, "Democracy's Challenge: Reclaiming the public's role" will run continuously in the library's new information literacy and public access lab.

On Monday, September 18 at 7:00 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium, Dr. James W. Tubbs will present a program, "Presidential Powers in Times of War and Danger: Are There Limits on the President's Discretion to Act?" After a 30-45 minute presentation, there will be time for audience participation in a 15-30 minute question and answer period.
i think it's smart that the department of political science is a co-sponsor. i also like how one of the events, the display about civic engagement, will remain in the library throughout the month. and finally, what a fascinating and exceedingly relevant topic professor tubbs will address - i hope they'll record/stream it! (update: very cool - mcintyre library has a blog, called mcintyre library news.)

and over in maryland, at the paul peck institute for american culture and civic engagement at montgomery college, dr. francine jamin, the force behind their smart and award-winning jefferson café project, has organized an inspired event:
Monday, September 11, 10:00 am. Bliss Room, Commons, TP/SS Campus.

Screening and discussion of Gandhi: Pilgrim of Peace, a 50-minute documentary film about Indian leader and peace advocate Mohandas Gandhi. A "September Project" event, this program commemorates 9/11/2001 and the 100th anniversary of Gandhi's founding of the Indian nonviolent civil disobedience movement. STUDENT PARTICIPANTS AND CLASSES ARE ESPECIALLY WELCOME.
while in the great state of maryland, let's not forget what they have planned at MITH, at the university of maryland (via matt kirschenbaum):
A MITH Digital Dialogue
Tuesday, September 12, 12:30-1:45
MITH Conference Room, McKeldin Library B0135

MITH's contribution will take the form of a roundtable Digital
Dialogue on the September 11th Digital Archive:

According to the site, "The September 11 Digital Archive uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania and the public responses to them."

A few questions to get us started (please do come with questions of your own): What does it mean to "archive" 9/11 on the Web? What are the boundaries of this particular Web site *as* an archive? What new or unique role do born digital materials--email, cell phone text messages, digital photographs and video, blogs, and mainstream media sites--play in the memory and preservation of 9/11? What are the particular issues and challenges involved: ethical, historiographical, and technical? How else has the Web contributed to an archiving or preservation of 9/11, including the widely viewed alternative history ("conspiracy") documentaries digitally distriubted from YouTube and similar sites?

Please note that this Digitial Dialogue will still take place during our regular Tuesday slot, on September *12*.

We have an exciting line up of Digital Dialogues scheduled for the remainder of the semester, *every Tuesday* at 12:30. Highlights of upcoming speakers include Kevin Bertram (CEO, Distributive Networks), who will present "You Can Take It With You: The Nascent Role for Mobile in the Digital Humanities," as well as visits from Daniel Pitti of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia, Jason Nelson (digital artist and poet) from Griffith University in Australia, and Stuart Moulthrop and Nancy Kaplan from the Information Arts program at the University of Baltimore. Look for our full schedule very soon.
this year more than ever libraries are designing events that are particularly relevant for their communities. no "cookie-cutter" event has emerged this year. instead, many of the events relate to and revolve around issues relevant to that library's particular community. further, many of the events are part of already existing collaborations, series, and activities - be it digital dialogues or jefferson cafes.

recently, la biblioteca universidad central del este, in san pedro de macoris, dominican republic, signed up to participate. what will they do? what kind of materials will be provided? this morning, the library system of the international islamic university, in islamabad, pakistan, signed up to participate. what kinds of events will they organize? what kind of topics will they discuss?

for the second year, the university of haifa library (english version of web site) is participating. their event is as follows:
During the months of July and August 2006 the city of Haifa, Israel, was under terror attacks from Lebanon, as was the Northern part of Israel.

We decided to prepare a web site, as part of the September 11 project, that describes what happens to us, librarians living and working in Haifa, during that period.
the web site is a real-time archive of life on a college campus during war.

singapore and the september project

[crossposted from the september project blog]

there is something quite exciting about collaborating with singapore's national library board (or NLB).

for the third straight year, NLB libraries will participate in the september project. this year, all 22 singaporean public libraries, which includes both regional libraries and community libraries, have joined the project. in other words, the september project can be found across the whole country!

for over two years, sarah and i have corresponded and collaborated with ivan chew, a librarian with NLB, an internationally known blogger, and an extremely creative thinker. in 2004, ivan put together a pictures of peace contest for library patrons. in 2005, ivan worked with beverly holmes hughes at sugar grove public library in illinois to have a live cross-country chat between youth on september 11.

this year, the project grows. organized by wei lin (NLB's adult & young peoples' services librarian), julian lim (youth portal manager of Youth.SG), and ivan, their september project events ask youth to express themselves:
Here in Singapore, the NLB wants you think write about literacy or peace or how literacy can bring about peace. If you’re not good with words, use any medium you are comfortable with to spread the message. Selected entries will be shared digitally with an international audience. The Top 3 entries will stand to win attractive NLB limited edition collectibles!
(they have even designed a great poster for the event.)

Youth.SG, a blog for singapore youth, will host much of the creative content (and already have begun to generate fascinating posts) and we here at the september project blog will also showcase some of the work of the youth.

this project really excites me for many reasons. here's a few:
  1. too often, adults ask youth to create - but we ask them to create within a narrow set of media, usually a written essay. wei, julian, and ivan are way ahead of us - they smartly encourage youth to express themselves in the medium of their choosing: they can post to their blogs, upload to youtube, or send NLB the url of a web site; they can design digital artifacts like jpegs, 3G mobile phone clips, or MP3s; they can write on postcards, paper, scrapes of paper, or anything that can be digitally scanned or photographed. bravo!

  2. september project events are local events - they are civic events, usually hosted by a public, academic, or school library, that address an issue or set of issues relevant to that particular community, town, or city. what NLB is doing, however, is national. this year's events in singapore represent, i believe, the first attempt to organize september project events on a national level. the fact that this is happening in singapore is a factor of the geographic size of the country. yet another - and more important - factor seems to be that NLB is an effective, creative, and flexible library system.

  3. i think it's great that the focus of the events is global. NLB's events encourage youth to express their own feelings and ideas about topics that transcend national borders. it seems to me that imagination is what's needed most these days and when youth are encouraged to imagine - and to imagine across borders - positive things happen.
sarah and i have never met ivan, wei, and julian - but it sure is nice to call them friends and collaborators. i look forward to the day when we get to meet face to face.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

finding one's way a bit better

i'm a big fan of the exterior of seattle public library's downtown branch.

the interior, however, needs some work. it still feels cold, there's no secret nook to lose yourself in a book, and, most importantly, it's exceedingly easy to get lost. i seem to remember getting lost at least once each time i visited the downtown library.

for that reason, i was heartened to read kery murakami's "Too many people getting lost in new downtown library," in today's seattle pi. the article is about seattle public library hiring wayfinder lynne faulk (a friend) to design signage to prevent library patrons from getting lost. bravo to seattle public library for hiring lynne to solve the problem - she was, after all, the one who redesigned seattle's unfathomably difficult to understand parking meters. if lynne does half the job she did with the city's parking meters, library patrons will find getting around, exploring, and finding materials at seattle's downtown library 100% easier.

my one problem with murakami's article is the way she patronizingly defines the growing field of wayfinding: Faulk is a professional "wayfinder" -- which is a fancy way of saying she makes signs. um, no - wayfinding is a lot more than that, as murakami should know, especially after writing such an interesting article about what's at play in this case of wayfinding. wayfinding is about what is being offered, what people are trying to find, and where and how the two meet. as our cities, spaces, and structures get more dense, complex, commercialized, and commodified, sometimes we need some help to just find our way. wayfinding, especially the kind i've seen lynne do with the gates foundation, seattle's parking meters, and now with the downtown library, gets us on our way and pushes us in the most interesting direction.

i'll be eager to wayfind through the downtown library the next time i return to seattle.

faculty position: critical/cultural media studies

great looking job at penn state university. whoever gets this position will also get michael bérubé as a campus colleague!
    Faculty Position
    Critical/Cultural Media Studies
    Penn State
    College of Communications

    The Film-Video and Media Studies Department in the College of Communications at Penn State invites applications for a faculty position in critical and/or cultural approaches to media studies. This tenure-track appointment will be at the rank of assistant professor and begin in August 2007. Candidates should be qualified to teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels. A Ph.D. is preferred. Scholars from all relevant disciplinary perspectives are encouraged to apply.

    The College of Communications is the largest ACEJMC-accredited program in the country and one of seven accredited communications programs in the Northeast. The College is home to four departments: Advertising/Public Relations; Film-Video and Media Studies; Journalism; and Telecommunications. In addition, the College offers five undergraduate majors (advertising/public relations, film-video, journalism, media studies, and telecommunications), master's degree programs in media studies and telecommunications studies, and a Ph.D. program in mass communications with four distinct and flexible tracks-media effects, political/cultural communication studies, communications law and policy, and international communication.

    The University Park Campus is set in State College, a university town located in the heart of central Pennsylvania. State College offers a vibrant community with outstanding recreational and cultural activities, a low crime rate, and excellent public schools. The campus is within a half-day drive to Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and Pittsburgh. For more information, please visit and

    To learn more about the College and this position, feel free to contact our department head: Anthony Olorunnisola, Head; Department of Film-Video and Media Studies; Phone: (814) 863-7997, Email:

    To apply, send a letter describing qualifications, a c.v. detailing teaching and research/creative experience, and the names of three to five references to Cultural/Critical Studies Faculty Search Committee, College of Communications, Penn State, 201 Carnegie Building, Box COC, University Park, PA 16802. Screening of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce.

indian pizza

back from san luis obispo, sarah and i followed up on a food tip by the always wise and always kind jay fienberg and ordered indian pizza from zante's! who knew that pizza topped with spinach, eggplant, cauliflower, ginger, garlic, green onions, cilantro, lamb, tandoori chicken, and prawns could be so delicious? yum.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

driving down to SLO

in an hour or so, sarah, nene, and i drive down to san luis obispo for the wedding of shanthi and jon. shanthi's father and my father were professors of physics at cal poly, san luis obispo and they shared the same office for what must have been one or two decades. with luck, we'll make it back to san francisco sometime on monday night.

quick note for those in and interested in higher education: george just published teaching carnival #11. learn and enjoy!

Friday, September 01, 2006

a beautiful new building

via ivan, i learn that this building, the bishan community library, opens tomorrow.

september project in college park, maryland

this morning brought news that the maryland institute for technology in the humanities, or MITH, will be participating in the september project!

as a graduate student, i had the privilege to work as a research assistant (with jason, george, and other smart scholars) for MITH where i learned a lot about digital humanities, teaching with technology, and creative collaboration. these days, it seems to me, MITH is doing some of the most cutting edge work along the intersections of the humanities and digital media. it's been impressive to watch the university of maryland grow quickly and creatively in this field - a field that the NEH is helping to stimulate.

also this morning - i learned that myron lounsbury, an associate professor of american studies at the university of maryland (and my master's thesis advisor!), is offering a number of september 11-related film screenings organized through, i think, the department of american studies. check it:
    Sept. 11, 2006, Hoff Student Union Theatre, 7pm: Nina Davenport's PARALLEL LINES, a documentary tracing the director's September 2001 travels across the United States from California to her NYC apartment located near the Wrold Trade Center Towers. Davenport will introduce her film and conduct a Q&A session after its completion.

    Sept. 5, 2006, Room J, Hornbake Nonprint Media Center, Hornbake Library, 7-8:15pm: the French-inspired 11"09'01, an anthology film offering interpretations of the attack on the World Trade Center from the distinctive cultural perspectives of 11 different countries. We will focus on the contributions from Iran, India, the USA, and Japan.

    Sept. 2, 2006, Hoff Student Union Theatre, 7:30pm. A free public screening of Oliver Stone's WORLD TRADE CENTER. Arriving early is strongly recommended.